California Science Center
The California Science Center is a state museum located in Exposition Park. It’s the biggest science center on the West Coast, featuring an IMAX theater and the Space Shuttle Endeavor, in addition to lots of science-related attractions. People of all ages love this museum; it has something for everyone with any interest in science. This is a great educational center and a popular school field trip destination. Admission is free, but there’s a fee to see an IMAX movie and the Space Shuttle Endeavor.
The Getty Center
The Getty Center features mostly 19th and 20th century paintings, drawings, illuminated manuscripts, sculpture and decorative arts from around the globe. The center has several remarkable attractions, such as the Central Garden. Beautiful maze-like azaleas float in the pool, and many varieties of the plant are used in the surrounding garden. The Center also offers some of the best views of Los Angeles: you can see from West LA to the downtown skyscrapers and the infamous forever-traffic-jammed 405 freeway. Admission is free, but parking costs $15. You can use the same parking pass to park at the Getty Villa (below) in Malibu the same day.
The Getty Villa
The Getty Villa, another part of the Getty Museum, is located some distance away in Malibu, off the PCH. Unlike the Getty Center, this museum focuses on the arts and cultures of ancient Greece, Rome and Etruria. The entire museum is designed to replicate a villa in the ancient Roman Empire. Once a residential home, the former owner decided to convert the gorgeous space into a museum to showcase his art collection that he acquired over the years. You will find many fascinating items in the museum, including a seat from the Coliseum itself. This museum is a like a candy store for ancient history buffs. Admission is free, but reservation is required prior to entrance into the museum. Parking is $15.
Pasadena Roving Archers
Pasadena Roving Archers‘ archery school is a free activity that even locals tend to miss. Every Saturday morning, first-time visitors can participate in a free archery lesson (equipment is included). The next visit is $5, which is still very reasonable. The recent hit movie, The Hunger Games, has made many girls want to be the next bow-slinging Katniss Everdeen (or Merida from Brave). There are many shooting ranges in L.A., but Pasadena Roving Archers is one of only a handful for archery.